Population-centric intelligence, repression, and the cycles of contention
Spinello, Michael J.
Mahoney, Justin R.
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In this thesis, we examine the role of intelligence in the cycle of contention between the state and emergent insurgent movements within the context of violent contentious politics. This thesis explores the implications of initial levels of intelligence vis-aÌ -vis the scope, organization, modus operandi, and composition of nascent insurgent movements. Specifically, the thesis considers the role that particular types of intelligence play in allowing for effective repression targeting and timing to counter emerging insurgent threats. Furthermore, we explore and expand upon the notion proposed by Mohammed Hafez that a reactive and indiscriminate repression policy, attendant on a paucity of initial intelligence, has the effect of causing a nascent insurgent movement to become: 1) increasingly violent; 2) less visible to the state as it resorts to informal networks for mobilization and operation; and 3) expanded in size as a greater number of individuals become alienated from the state and find common cause with the insurgent movement and its framing of the conflict. Finally, we consider how adaptive states may learn from the dynamic interaction with insurgent movements by improving their intelligence paradigm to generate that intelligence which allows for increasingly proactive and discriminate repression.
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